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I Scrape the Window of Nothingness: New & Selected Poems is a selection from Stella Vinitchi Radulescu’s English-language work published over several decades, along with a substantial collection of unpublished work. Melding the mystical, Surrealist, and Modernist traditions, Radulescu’s work is unique in American poetry. Words become tactile objects in Radulescu’s hands, and her poems enable us to experience language as if for the first time. As one reads these poems, gleaming fragments of experience accrue and begin to cohere in unanticipated ways, forming a monument to the mystery of existence.

(228 pg.)



“Remarkable for their condensed form, Radulescu’s poems privilege image over narrative, unpredictability over certainty, and pensive contemplation over exhilaration. Hermetic and shrouded from easy interpretations, the poems in this collection give voice, speech, and language stunning corporeality.”

—Roxana L. Cazan, The Chattahoochee Review


“This collection of new and selected poems from prolific and multilingual poet Stella Vinitchi Radulescu is charged with energy and possessed of an urgency difficult to find in much of contemporary poetry. I Scrape the Window of Nothingness reaches the reader at the level of the subconscious with poems that create an experience simultaneously surrealistic and dreamlike while also grounded, familiar. […] The poems in this collection are marked by a flexibility of language and startling imaginative leaps. In each, Radulescu’s work seems to be the careful reassembling of fragments of time into wholeness, […] her words so spare and polished they shine.”



“Stella Vinitchi Radulescu’s poems are rich in connotations, metaphysically profound in some great unlocatable fashion. Surreal, ethereal, some of the poems enact ghostly things, and a very powerful world view glitters and solidifies…. It’s a dark poetry shining with the ecstasy of the imagination let loose, a triumph of being, a war against banality.”

—David Dodd Lee, author of The Nervous Filaments


“Daunting to even try to put into a few words a poetry that is sui generis, whose moving language of images, displaced from any single set of cultural signs, seems the distillation of a thousand occasions, a legion of losses—a universal language ‘at the edge of spoken time,’ a vision ‘wildly sad, diffused, beautiful, a tactile absence.’ In this poetry of passionate paradox, embodied thought becomes the solid clarity through which what we can’t see is glimpsed.”

—Eleanor Wilner, MacArthur Fellow and author of Tourist in Hell


“Stella Vinitchi Radulescu’s poetry irradiates, like a magnetic field charged with mysteries, the movements and the rituals of her bright vision. One of the strongest characteristics of her poems consists in the unabridged relationship she establishes with words, a pact that sends us to their origins. The poet dares to carry the shadow of her own loneliness, keeping pace with that of her words, up to the line of a horizon where sky and earth, life and death merge.”

—Alexandru Lungu, editor of Zarathustra and Argo


“With constancy and felicity Stella Vinitchi Radulescu pursues her poetic course in a pertinent and already important trilingual oeuvre. [. . .] She remains faithful to a certain hermeticism that breathes more force into her work, whose mysterious form beats with the rhythm of life.”

—Michel Bénard, laureate of l’Académie Française and Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts & des Lettres


“Many native English speaking poets don’t have such a supple and sensitive ear to the music of our language.”

—Annie Finch, author of Spells: New & Selected Poems





Stella Vinitchi Radulescu was born in Romania and left the country permanently in 1983, at the height of the communist regime. She holds a Ph.D. in French Language & Literature and has taught French at Loyola University and Northwestern University. Writing poetry in three languages, she has published numerous books in the United States, France, and Romania. Radulescu’s French books have received several awards, including the Grand Prix de Poésie Henri-Noël Villard and the Prix Amélie Murat.

I Scrape the Window of Nothingness, by Stella Vinitchi Radulescu (paper)

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